National LGBTQ Task Force Calls on Mississippi Governor to Resign; Urges Public to Sign Petition

Washington, DC, April 12, 2016–The National LGBTQ Task Force is calling on Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi to resign. One week ago today, the governor signed a law, HB 1523, that legalizes discrimination against LGBTQ people. This new law may also lead to discrimination against unmarried people raising children, unmarried people having sex, and others.

“Mississippi has once again passed a law that unduly infringes on basic human rights. What Governor Bryant did was immoral. That’s why he must resign immediately. By signing this law, he is targeting some of the poorest people with the least legal protections in our nation, Mississippi’s LGBTQ community. And, he manipulated faith and cherished constitutional rights to justify this reprehensible action. Make no mistake: this law was knowingly designed to have the biggest negative impact on the most vulnerable. Contrary to what the Governor has said, this law makes a mockery of the basic American idea that we are guaranteed freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We believe that what he did makes his position untenable,” said Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force, Executive Director.

Mississippi has the highest proportion of same-sex couples raising children in our nation at 26%. It has one of the highest percentages of Black same-sex couples. And Mississippi has the highest number of poor people in the country — many of whom are LGBTQ. “These folks already face devastating discrimination and racism. With this law they are going to face more. This is what makes Bryant’s action so despicable,” said Carey.

The state’s new law discriminates against LGBTQ people and many others in a number of different contexts. These include: the workplace, at schools, in health care settings and in public spaces such as stores, hotels or eateries by giving individuals, religious associations and private entities the right to use their religious beliefs as an excuse to “shut the door” on anyone they choose.

The outcry against Bryant has been diverse — from people of faith who think what he did was immoral to businesses who think that his action will be a jobs killer.

“Bryant could have stopped this bill becoming law. Instead he signed it. Now it’s time for him to sign something else — his resignation letter. He must resign to do the decent thing, and to help make the Hospitality State truly hospitable again,” urged Carey.

The petition calling for Governor Bryant to resign is available online at To take part in the conversation using social media, follow the hashtag #quitPhil.